Looking for a way to make the world more beautiful? This Miss Rumphius mixed media art project is a great place to start! After all, we can all benefit from Miss Rumphius’ charge to leave this world in better shape than we found it.
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Not familiar with Miss Rumphius and her message? This is one of my favorite stories to read with my kids. It follows Alice Rumphius, someone who wanted to travel the world and live by the sea. When she shares these dreams with her grandfather, he gives her one important thing to add to her to-do list: make the world more beautiful.
Miss Rumphius accepts this challenge and rises to the occasion in a rather unusual way. In fact, some in her community make fun of her, but, as Five in a Row, Volume 2 points out:
“Many people make fun of what they do not understand.”
There are lots of ways to make the world more beautiful, but one of our favorite ways involves art. That’s why my little one and I thought it would be fun to celebrate this lovely book through painting. That’s where this Miss Rumphius mixed media art comes into the picture.
If you haven’t read this one with your children, you’ll want to move it to the top of your to-read list. In the meantime, think about ways you can leave this world in better shape than you found it.
Miss Rumphius Mixed Media Art Project
If you’d like to make the world more beautiful with us, gather your supplies and paint along. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Canvas or mixed media paper
- acrylic craft paint
- watercolor paint
- Mod Podge
- Sharpie (optional)
Step 1 – Paint Lupines
The first step in this mixed media project is to paint the lupines onto a blank canvas using your choice of acrylic craft paints. My daughter and I both painted our stems with green, but we opted for different lupines. I used blue and purple for mine, while she used purple and light pink for hers.
>>> Did you know that lupines aren’t just wildflowers? Yep, it’s true. They’re also legumes. <<<
To get started, paint several stems of varying heights onto your canvas. Then choose your base color and paint teardrop-shaped petals from the tops to the bottoms of each stem. Be sure to leave white space in between each petal so that you’ll have room for your secondary color.
When the first round of petals is nearly dry, use your secondary color to fill in the white space with more teardrop-shaped petals. It’s not a problem to add this second color of petals after the first round is completely dry, but mixing the colors a bit creates a nice effect.
Step 2 – Add Background
Add the background color after the lupines dry. Using watercolors, carefully work the paint between the lupines and cover all the blank spots on the canvas.
While waiting for the background to dry, prepare to add your quote from Miss Rumphius. We chose “Make the world more beautiful” because of its significance to the story of Miss Rumphius. If there’s another quote that stands out to you, consider the best ways to arrange it on your canvas.
Step 3 – Add Quote
Once you choose your quote, type it up using your favorite font. If you’re overwhelmed by font options, you can use a typewriter-style font like we did. Then print it and cut each word into small strips.
Next, add dabs of Mod Podge to the canvas areas that will hold the quote. Then carefully place each word on the canvas by pressing the paper strips onto the Mod Podge.
Keep in mind that you can use paint pens or Sharpies to add your favorite quote if you don’t have access to a printer or simply prefer a different look for this step.
Step 4 – Seal and Enjoy!
After adding your quote to the canvas, seal the entire canvas with a layer of Mod Podge and wait for it to dry. Lastly, use a Sharpie to add some definition to your quote and wait for it to dry.
When the Sharpie dries, you’re finished!
I hope you enjoy this Miss Rumphius mixed media art as much as we did. It’s a lovely reminder to make the world around us more beautiful each day.
Related: Five in a Row Volume 1 Art and Craft Ideas
We’re loving our lupine paintings, but we’re also excited to take a look at the other book-inspired ideas happening through The Nature Book Club this month!
The Nature Book Club Monthly Linkup #5
This month is all about wildflowers and you’re going to love all of these nature learning activities. Let’s take a look:
- Wildflower Walk and Pressing Flowers from Barbara at Handbook of Nature Study
- Oregon Nature Study Quiz: Wildflower Edition from Eva at Eva Varga
- Wildflower Fairy Poetry & Art Activity from Melanie at Wind in a Letterbox
- Flower Fairy Peg Dolls from Cassidy at Freshly Planted
- Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms Online Book Club from Dachelle at Hide the Chocolate
- Wildflowers Unit Study & Lapbook from Tina at Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus
- Fingerprint Painting on Canvas Activity from Katrina at Rule This Roost
- DIY Flower Press from Thaleia at Something 2 Offer
- Dandelion Life Cycle Learning Activities from Karyn at Teach Beside Me
- Also, be sure to follow the hashtag #naturebookclub on your favorite social media platform. That’s a great way to connect and check out these projects while they’re in progress!
5 thoughts on “Make the World More Beautiful with Miss Rumphius Mixed Media Art”
This is my absolute favorite picture book, and your craft is lovely! I’m definitely going to find a way to work this into our plans this year. I’m loving all your wonderful art project ideas, Emily!
Thank you, Aimee! Isn’t Miss Rumphius the best? <3
This book is already on our to-read list. What a fun art project!
These are gorgeous! What an awesome message. Adding it to our book list.
Lovely pictures! We own this book but haven’t read it yet! Thanks for sharing such a lovely project.
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